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Lance King's Blog

By Lance King-Founder/Broker | Managing Broker in San Francisco, CA
  • Dear San Francisco Homeowners, NOW is the time to sell.

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in San Francisco, Home Selling in San Francisco, Financing in San Francisco  |  March 13, 2012 8:49 AM  |  1,020 views  |  1 comment

    If you own a single family home in San Francisco, for a long time you have been subject to the machinations and peccadilloes of buyers as they were firmly in the driver's seat. Not any longer.

    If you have a home in any of the desirable areas, and that doesn't mean only high-end neighborhoods, prepare it properly, have the right marketing plan, hire the right agent/broker, and price it correctly, and you will likely have multiple, over ask offers in a very short period of time.

    Why is this? My view is that many homeowners tried to sell when buyers were sitting on the sidelines or making lowball offers and gave up or don't understand how lack of inventory is cranking up demand. Or they bought when things were crazy in 2005-2006 and think they can't sell at a price that will get them out without writing a check. There is a LOT of money coming in to this city and these folks want to buy. The number of all cash deals we've seen over the last 6 months is unbelievable.

    While condos remain spotty depending upon area and price point, most homes are flying off the shelves unless they have serious issues or badly priced/marketed. With the global nature of economics we are often one major financial disaster away from things turning on a dime. Take advantage while you have the chance.

    If you have questions about the market for your home and/or would like a no-strings, expert consultation, take the opportunity to get the straight scoop direct from the owner of the company - contact info below:

    cell: 415.722.5549
    web: www.fixedrateproperties.com

  • Restore Higher Loan Limits

    Posted Under: Home Buying in San Francisco, Home Selling in San Francisco, Financing in San Francisco  |  November 2, 2011 5:12 PM  |  1,229 views  |  2 comments
    At the end of September higher loan limits expired, dropping the limit for an expanded conforming loan from $729,750 to $625,500. Allowed to continue, this could have disastrous results. An excellent example of how this impacts the real estate industry is a listing we have at 274 6th Avenue - www.274-sixthavenue.com.

    Priced at $990K, buyers now need $365K down to get a conforming loan as opposed to $261K a month ago. No one in their right mind can argue that a $261K down payment requirement on a $990K property in San Francisco is some kind of handout or subsidy.

    Fortunately efforts are underway to restore the higher limits. The Senate has passed an amendment to an appropriation bill that would restore, until December 31, 2013, loan limits to 125 percent of the area median home price from 115 percent and raise the high-cost limit to $729,750 from $625,500.

    Contact your congresseople and senators and let them know that restoring these limits is an integral part of sound economic policy, and it benefits you whether you are buying/selling or not.

    For more information on this and other real estate matters contact Owner/Managing Broker Lance King- lance@fixedrateproperties.com
    Company website - www.fixedrateproperties.com
  • Missed Appts/Tours - Have some courtesty for your fellow agents/brokers

    Posted Under: Agent2Agent in San Francisco  |  August 28, 2011 9:34 AM  |  1,038 views  |  2 comments
    Dear Fellow Agents/Brokers,

    If you have posted a broker tour or open house, that means that many of your fellow agents and brokers are likely planning on visiting that particular day, and like me and my associates they don't have time to last-minute check every property.

    So if you're not going to be there to hold the open, show us all the professional courtesy of posting that on the MLS and leaving a note at the property so we don't waste any more time than we already have to.

    And if you have an appt scheduled, have contact information for those you have set appts with so you can call and let them know if you can't make it or are running late.

    While out on tour a few weeks ago, 3 of the 8 properties I went to view had no one there, no note, and no commentary on the MLS. While out on that tour I ran into two other agents with the same issue, and I have been hearing this complaint repeatedly from other agents/brokers.

    This would seem to me to be fundamental professional courtesy, but what you're really saying when you engage in this behavior is that other's people's time is worthless. This is a small community even though it's a major city, and I know of several agents who already have a reputation for doing this on a regular basis. This is not going to help your career. And not only are you doing your colleagues a disservice, but you are doing your clients a huge disservice as well.

    No one at my company has ever missed an open house or broker tour, and everyone has contact info for buyer or agent so on the very rare occasion that something comes up we can alert the other party so they know what's going on. I don't understand how you can handle this any other way.
  • Bill introduced to extend loan limits one year

    Posted Under: Home Buying in San Francisco, Home Selling in San Francisco, Financing in San Francisco  |  August 3, 2011 6:17 PM  |  1,103 views  |  No comments

    On Tuesday, the Senate introduced SB 1508, a bill to extend the current loan limits for one year.  Originally sponsored by California Senator Dianne Feinstein, the bipartisan bill would increase the cost of loans for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac between $625,500 and $729,750, to offset the perceived cost of increasing the loan limits another year.

    Without Congressional action, the current loan limits will expire on Sept. 30, 2011; the VA limits will expire December 31st.

    This is particularly important in San Francisco for properties over $750K as those will have to put more money down to get a conforming loan. Currently, one could get such a loan on a $900K property with 20% ($180K) down. If the loan limits expire that same property would require $275K down to get the same loan. Urge your congresspeople and senators to help put this through. The housing industry doesn't need any more negative factors added to the marketplace right now.

  • Sellers - Ask to see flyer & photo samples before you hire you listing agent/broker

    Posted Under: Home Selling in San Francisco  |  July 29, 2011 8:32 AM  |  795 views  |  No comments

    The longer I am in this business, the more I continue to be shocked at how many listings have bad photos and/or property flyers, and with all the new technology there is absolutely no excuse for it.

    One of the worst examples I've ever seen was a listing for a unit in a large building - 150 units + - and the only picture was a blurry picture of the outside of the building. Not surprisingly, the unit in question didn't sell.

    Another, a $2.5M dollar home with no pictures at all.

    Unfortunately there is no shortage of examples like this.

    You only get one chance to make a good first impression, and anyone who posts dark, blurry,  tilted, exterior only, etc... photos are not only being incredibly unprofessional, they are doing a huge disservice to their clients.

    Obviously there is more to selling property than pictures and flyers, but professional marketing materials are a very big part of what get clients in the door. If they don't walk in to look, you have zero chance of selling, so any seller who doesn't ask to see a portfolio of prior listings and flyers is making a big mistake.

    Some sellers are shy about asking the hard questions or think it doesn't matter who you hire. it does matter, and it's better to risk hurting someone's feelings than leaving money on the table or not selling at all. If someone gets defensive about a request like this, run far and run fast.

    We happily provide examples of our marketing materials and proposals to any prospective client.

    For more information or  no-strings expert seller consultations contact:

    Lance R King/Founder Managing Broker
    Fixed Rate Properties, Inc.
    Email: lance@fixedrateproperties.com
    Web: www.fixedrateproperties.com
  • The Flaws Behind the Case-Shiller Index Data

    Posted Under: Home Buying in San Francisco, Home Selling in San Francisco, Property Q&A in San Francisco  |  June 3, 2011 8:44 AM  |  1,059 views  |  1 comment

    According to the latest Case-Broker Index, San Francisco Single Family home prices are down nearly 40% from their highs in 2006. Really? If homes were selling in San Francisco now for 40% off 2006 prices they wouldn't stay on the market more than about 24 hours.

    So where does this number come from? The Case-Shiller statistics for "San Francisco" are actually talking about the "San Francisco Metropolitan Statistical Area" (MSA), not just the city, which includes surrounding counties that have some areas that got devastated on values.

    Anyone can cite statistics to prove just about any point. In fact, prices have dropped in the city of San Francisco only about 20% over the last 5 years, making it one of the strongest markets in the country. And even that statistic is misleading because some neighborhoods lost much less than that and some much more.

    Bottom Line: Don't rely on headlines to guide your Real Estate decisions. If you're thinking about buying or selling, do your own research, find experienced pros you can trust to give you real world information, and make the right decision for you.

    for more information or questions about Real Estate contact:

    Lance R King- Owner/Managing Broker
    Fixed Rate Properties, Inc.

    Email: lance@fixedrateproperties.com
    Web: www.fixedrateproperties.com

  • A Great Time to Buy if High Loan Limits Expire this Fall as Expected

    Posted Under: Home Buying in San Francisco, Home Selling in San Francisco, Financing in San Francisco  |  May 18, 2011 10:51 AM  |  1,011 views  |  No comments

    Three years ago anyone wanting a loan over $417,000 needed to take out a second loan or get a jumbo loan. In San Francisco that was/is most buyers. Then new high balances were passed so anyone buying a home or condo up to approximately $900,000 could benefit from the great rates of a conforming loan with 20% down. 

    Those rates are set to expire this fall, and if they are not extended as expected the results will have a huge impact on San Francisco and other high dollar area Real Estate.

    An excellent example of this is a listing of ours at 408 Arguello Blvd, a Top Floor 3BR 2BA condo in Jordan Park. This property is listed at $869,000, so under current loan limit guidelines you would be able to get a conforming loan with 20% down of about 4.875% for a 30 yr loan depending on your credit and employment history. If the loan balances are lowered to $625,500 as expected, you would need to put down an extra $70,000 (approx) to buy this property, or get a jumbo loan at an additional .5%.

    To put this additional burden on an industry that is a large part of our economy that is already reeling nationwide makes no sense. Write your congress people and senators if you like, but you might want to come check out 408 Arguello (or places like it) before it’s too late. It’s open this Sunday 2-4.

    For more information on this property go to www.408arguello.com.

    For more information on expiration of loan limits or other Real Estate matters, send an email to lance@fixedrateproperties.com


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